Making College a Family Affair at SCC's Russell Center
Students like Natalie Anderson, Brittany Redmon and Shelby Maldonado know all too
well about the family atmosphere at SCC. Their mothers, Mary Anderson, Angela Stamper
and Dawn Maldonado are also fellow students. And for siblings Grace Roy, David Staton
and James Staton, attending SCC has not only been a family affair, but also a bit
of a competition.
If I hadn't moved here, I wouldn't have even come to college, said David Staton. Having the SCC Russell Center here, and having my sister and brother pushing and challenging me, has made all the difference for me.
Here are their stories:
Grace Roy, David Staton, James Staton
Siblings Grace, David and James have a running competition between them when it comes to education.
When she got her GED, I knew I could get mine, said David, talking about his sister
Grace. So I went and got it the same day she did.
The siblings are originally from Georgia. Grace was the first to move to Kentucky. Her husband was from Casey County and the pair wanted some land. Her parents followed her, bringing David and James with them.
Although their parents value education and have supported their decisions to obtain college degrees, Grace and David said they are not only first generation college students, but are also the first in their family to finish high school.
Our parents are very proud of us, said Grace.
Maybe that fuels us, added David.
The siblings have had a few classes together at the SCC Russell Center.
I usually sit on the opposite side of the room, joked Grace. But they usually tell the teacher Im their sister.
Grace said she quit high school during her senior year and her mom was furious. Now, after four kids, she said college is harder at times than she expected.
When I get a good grade, Im so proud of myself, said Grace. I may jump up and down!
I had to relearn a lot, said David. But at the (Russell) center, the teachers get to know you and they care, especially teachers like Mrs. (Craylon) Mills. Shes been amazing to us. She knows how to teach at the students level.
Grace will finish her Associate in Arts degree in the spring of 2016, David finishes in May and James recently received his Associate in Science degree from SCC and is now pursuing his bachelors degree from Lindsey Wilson College. Grace plans to work as probation and parole officer and David will pursue a career in forensics.
Mary and Natalie Anderson
Mary and Natalie Anderson, of Columbia, moved to the area from Las Vegas, Nevada, so they could have land for Marys horses. Mary wanted to continue her education, so she enrolled at SCC. Soon, her daughter Natalie decided to join her.
I started pursuing my degree in elementary education in Las Vegas and decided to continue that here, said Mary. I switched my major to business when I became part owner of a restaurant, but I learned quickly that my passion really is in the classroom, so Im back to education. Simply put, I get goose bumps just being in the classroom. Its where Im supposed to be.
Mary, age 49, will finish her degree in 2016 and plans to transfer to Eastern Kentucky University. Natalie, who attended Adair County High School, finished her high school degree in 2014. She will finish her associates degree in 2017 and homes to pursue a career in the culinary arts and as a writer.
For Mary and Natalie, being fellow students has been a positive experience.
Shes more like my sister than my mom, said Natalie. We enjoy taking classes together. We make it fun for each other.
Angela Stamper and Brittany Redmon
Angela Stamper and her daughter Brittany Redmon both came to SCC after losing their jobs at Fruit of the Loom.
Angela, age 39, started at SCC in 2004, she said, but had to place her education on the back burner after her daughter got sick and needed care. She later started at Fruit of the Loom. Angelas daughter Brittany graduated from Russell County High School in 2010 and also worked at Fruit of the Loom before the factory closed.
Both Angela and Brittany are now pursuing careers in nursing. The cost for their education is being supplemented by federal assistance under the U.S. Department of Labor, which is available to most Fruit of the Loom displaced employees.
Both of us are excited to be pursuing our education at SCC, said Angela. I have been really surprised at the quality of instructors we've had at the SCC Russell Center and even the available of classes like anatomy. Ive been able to do everything here.
Angela is planning to continue the nursing program at the SCC Laurel Campus.
The mother/daughter pair is not only in the same program, but also has had the same classes. Angelas other daughter, Mataya Stamper, is currently in high school, but plans to join her mom and sister in the SCC nursing program in 2016.
Its been really nice to be able to study together, said Brittany. We help each other and that has made us both more successful.
Dawn and Shelby Maldonado
Dawn Michelle and Shelby Maldonado started at SCC at the same time, but chose the college for different reasons. For Dawn, SCC offered smaller class sizes and a comradery between other non-traditional students.
It makes it easier to go back when you have classmates who are at the same point in their life as you, said Dawn.
For Shelby, SCC was the right choice because it was close to home, but yet offered the same educational opportunities as larger schools.
Dawn, age 47, is the office manager at The Times Journal in Russell Springs. She is originally from Adair County and is pursuing her Associate in Arts degree with plans to continue on to achieve a bachelors in business. Shelby, age 19, works at K-mart in Russell Springs and is pursuing a career in emergency medicine.
The Maldonado pair already had experience at SCC as Anthony, Dawns husband and Shelbys father, graduated from SCC with an AA in Applied Science and an aviation maintenance certification.
I am very proud of my mom for going back to school, said Shelby. She has always been very intelligent and I know she will accomplish whatever she sets her mind to.
Going to school with your daughter is a unique experience, said Dawn. I like the opportunity it gives us to spend more time together.